The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a group of around 10 young people from the Middle East, Africa and the Netherlands. Together they advise the ministry of Foreign Affairs on subjects like education, work and the ways in which young people can be involved on the international stage. This intercultural cooperation offers new ideas, experiences and insights that can enrich the policy processes of the ministry.
We believe that the voice of young people is crucial for Dutch foreign policy Many young people in parts of Africa and the Middle East lack access to education and work, of which the quality often isn't good enough. The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to invest in the future of young people, so that they can build a better world. This is why they created the Youth at Heart strategy. The Youth Advisory Committee wants to contribute to the goals of this strategy by making sure that policies correspond with the lived realities of young people in Africa and the Middle East. On this website you can read more about the Youth at Heart strategy.
how it works
There are different ways in which in members of the Youth Advisory Committee can make their voices heard. They develop new strategies and policy advise for the ministry, or organise activities, like brainstorm sessions, international events or their own podcast. The YAC also comes together twice a year in person. During these meet-up weeks the YAC-members receive training, work on teambuilding or make work visits to relevant organisations. This is therefore the perfect opportunity to deepen the collaboration between the YAC-members and policy officers. This video offers a short summary of their activities during the meet-up week:
The Youth Advisory Committe is being coordinated by the Dutch National Youth Council. The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs works with the YAC-members and uses the results of their work for developing policies. Embassies support the members and involve them in their activities. The YAC also collaborates with existing youth partners of the ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to embed meaningful youth participation within the ministry. The most important partner organisations are The West Wing, the independent youth think tank of the ministry, and CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, who seek to strengthen the rights and capacities of young people worldwide.